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Full Access Minimizing Faithfulness Violation in the Acquisition of Hebrew Onset

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Minimizing Faithfulness Violation in the Acquisition of Hebrew Onset

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Data obtained in a longitudinal study of three Hebrew-acquiring children indicate the existence of a stage in which target words with word-initial simple onsets are produced without an initial onset, while target words with an initial complex onset are produced with a simple onset. This is a case of chain shif, where the output of cluster simplification (w[CCV → w[CV) is the input of onset deletion (w[CV → w[V), but forms derived from cluster simplification do not result in onset deletion (w[CCV → *[V). Assuming the constraint-based framework of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993/2004), the main question to be addressed is how can we account for different outputs for input-simple onsets compared to input-complex onsets during the same stage of phonological development? In addition, given the principles of universal markedness and their role in language acquisition, how can we account for the production of onsetless syllables for targets with onsets? I argue that the underlying motivation for omission is an increase in prosodic complexity, and propose an analysis based on local constraint conjunction (Smolensky 1993) to provide a unified developmental account of simple and complex onsets.


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